Slow down, be aware of their lights and move over. It’s a message from law enforcement after some alarming crashes on Friday.
Police say there were multiple incidents on I-135 near the 8th and 9th street exits, and they were all around the same time. They say the last was a driver not paying attention and what happened next is a fear many officers face on the roads.
It’s a thought that’s crossed Trooper Kirstin Parynik’s mind when she starts her shift. The thought of being hit when working a crash on the highway.
“Yes that thought goes through my mind a lot, there’s been a couple close calls,” said Trooper Kirstin Parynik, Kansas Highway Patrol.
There was a close call just last week, when Kansas Highway Patrol and Wichita police were working several incidents in the same area on I-135. Police say a suspected drunk driver crashed into sand barriers and two vehicles crashed that were linked to a domestic call.
They say shortly after, a person approached whose driving got officers attention to start a DUI investigation, and it was then, that a driver not paying attention, crashed into a parked Wichita police vehicle. Thankfully, no one was inside.
“They’re just not paying attention, they’re not seeing our lights even though our lights are activated,” said Trooper Parynik.
It’s not the first time it’s happened. Kansas Highway Patrol and Wichita police provided us with these photos of previous times. Trooper Parynik says drivers need to look forward, put away distractions, and follow the move over law when they see stationary emergency vehicles with their lights on.
“Drivers are required to move over to the left and if they are unable to due to traffic, they are required to slow down and use caution,” said Trooper Parynik.
It can be the difference of Parynik making it home or not.
“It’s the safety of people that are driving as well as our officers and our coworkers, you just never know what could happen,” said Trooper Parynik.
Police say these crashes are still under investigation.